I just got around to watching last night’s American Idol and, true to form, I became enraged. I disagreed with the judges on every single performance. Because I try to be a positive Dishmaster (no — I’m not kidding), I will only point out who I liked that judges did not, instead of listing every single singer that the judges like, who I thought were God awful. During the judges’ critique of Paul McDonald they insulted his suit (which I liked) and they told him he needed to “go further” with his voice (which is ridiculous). Not every contestant on American Idol needs to engage in vocal gymnastics to be impressive. I might stop watching this show altogether, for fear of destroying my television. Watch Paul McDonald sing Elton John’s Rocket Man below. He was my favorite of the night, with Casey Abrams coming in a close second. I keep my mouth shut on the rest.
Simon Cowell doesn’t only pick on the little guy — he takes on giants too. In response to Elton John’s comments about X-Factor “hurting the music industry,” Cowell said, “This is somebody who charges what, a million dollars a private gig? Two million dollars, you know? . . . I tell you what, you just made a million dollars off your last private gig. Go and give it to a bunch of young musicians you care about, put them in the studio. Go and nurture them. Go and spend some time looking after them. Then I’ll buy your argument.” Good point, Simon. I’m sick and tired of music titans insulting the current state of the industry and doing nothing about it. Did I mention that I had a recent dream that I made out with Simon Cowell? He was a very good kisser.
When I read that Billy Joel will waste an inordinate amount of time writing an autobiography instead of writing new music, I became infuriated. I’m a huge Billy Joel fan, and it’s been over a decade since he’s written new music. In his recent Howard Stern interview, he said that he likes to write music without lyrics because adding lyrics would be like “painting a mustache on an already finished work of art.” Personally, I think that’s complete bull shit. And I’m not a alone. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Elton John said, “at the end of the day, [Billy’s] coasting. I always say, ‘Billy, can’t you write another song?’ It’s either fear or laziness. It upsets me. Billy’s a conundrum.” Judging from the Stern interview, Billy has some astounding fear of failure, and since he’s able to live off the money he’s already made, there isn’t any reason to overcome it. He’s no longer hungry (both literally and figuratively), and so his art suffers. And since I’m such a huge Joel fan — I suffer.